Recipe: Hot and Sour Soup

I made hot and sour soup for dinner this evening and my friend asked for the recipe.

Here it is. This recipe makes 4 servings


  • 400g firm tofu, shredded
  • 1/2 cup dried woodear mushrooms, soaked and shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + 2 tablespoon for seasoning
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Shanxi Aged Vinegar 老陈醋 preferred, if not, other Chinese black vinegar such as Zhenjiang Vinegar
  • 4 tablespoon white peppers
  • a handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil


  1. Boil 3 cups of water in a medium pot.
  2. Once the water starts boiling, add shredded tofu, plus 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  3. Add shredded woodear mushrooms – should have enough water to cover tofu and mushrooms.
  4. Cook for 1 minute.
  5. Prepare a pot with 2 cups of cold water.
  6. Drain the water from the tofu and mushrooms, dump them into cold water to stop the blanching process. Set aside.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over high heat, once the oil starts smoking, add scallions.
  8. Stir and cook until the scallion turns fragrant but not browned, less than 30 second.
  9. Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and let it sizzle for 10 seconds.
  10. Add the blanched tofu and mushrooms, along with the water they were soaked in.
  11. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, white pepper and soy sauce and let it come to a boil.
  12. While the soup is cooking, mix 2 tablespoons of corn starch with 4 tablespoons of water until fully dissolved.
  13. Beat 2 eggs with a fork until well combined.
  14. Once the soup starts to boil, gradually add the corn starch and water mixture and stir to thicken the soup.
  15. Add 1/2 cups of vinegar.
  16. Gradually drip the egg mixture to the soup in a circular motion.
  17. Use the back of a soup spoon to push the egg drops around but do not break.
  18. Once the egg drop is formed. Turn off the heat.
  19. In a large soup bowl, or divide into 4 smaller bowls, add chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoon of white peppers, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1/2 cup of vinegar.
  20. Pour or ladle the hot soup into the bowl.
  21. Add more vinegar or white pepper according to taste.


  1. Use this vegetarian soup as a base, feel free to add carrots, shiitake mushrooms – I used yellowfoot chanterelles in mine – Or for a omnivore version, ham. All shall be in shredded form.
  2. The “Hot” in the soup comes from the white pepper, apply generously.
  3. The “Sour” in the soup comes from the smoky Chinese black vinegar, the higher the quality the more flavourful the soup will be. Preferably the aged vinegar from Shanxi. Here is a good article about the aged vinegar from Shanxi.

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